Champs Elysees Cocktail

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Published: 02/07/24

champs elysees cocktail
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The Champs Elysees cocktail is a riff on the classic Sidecar, named after the Champs-Élysées avenue in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France.

The first known recipe for the Champs Elysees appeared in the 1925 book “Drinks—Long and Short” by Nina Toye and Arthur H. Adair. The Champs Elysees is a testament to the creative spirit of the Roaring Twenties, a time when Paris was a hub of artistic and cultural revolution, and cocktails were a symbol of sophistication and savoir-vivre.

The cocktail was also included in Harry Craddock’s 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book, which was a testament to the drink’s rising popularity and its place within the pantheon of classic cocktails. The Savoy Hotel in London, renowned for its opulent hospitality and refined taste, served as a beacon of cocktail culture during the early 20th century. The publication of the “Savoy Cocktail Book” marked a pivotal moment in cocktail history, capturing the essence of the era’s mixology and securing the legacy of numerous cocktails, including the Champs Elysees.

The recipe that appears in the “Savoy Cocktail Book” is particularly notable for its formulation for a party of six. This adaptation reflects the social nature of cocktail consumption during the period and underscores the drink’s suitability for gatherings and celebrations. Crafting the recipe on such a scale indicates the cocktail’s appeal and its role in facilitating social interaction and enjoyment. It also highlights the practical aspects of cocktail preparation for hosts, offering a guide to serving sophisticated beverages to guests in a more efficient manner.

This detail reveals much about the culture of cocktail drinking in the early 20th century. Cocktails were not merely individual servings of alcoholic drinks but were an integral part of social gatherings, offering a shared experience that brought people together. The Champs Elysees cocktail, with its rich blend of flavors and elegant presentation, was perfectly suited to such occasions, embodying the sophistication and communal spirit of the time.

The Champs Elysees cocktail is made with cognac, fresh lemon juice, green Chartreuse, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters. Each ingredient plays a vital role in creating the cocktail’s distinctive taste profile.

As the base spirit, cognac provides a rich and complex flavor foundation, lending warmth and depth to the cocktail. Its smoothness and nuanced character are crucial for balancing the other ingredients.

The addition of fresh lemon juice introduces a bright acidity and citrusy sharpness, cutting through the richness of the cognac and refreshing the palate.

Green Chartreuse adds a layer of complexity with its blend of 130 herbs, plants, and flowers. Its vibrant green color and unique flavor profile contribute to the cocktail’s distinctive character.

The simple syrup balances the acidity of the lemon juice, adding a touch of sweetness that rounds out the drink’s flavor profile.

A few dashes of Angostura bitters bring an additional layer of flavor, introducing spicy, floral, and bitter notes that complement the cocktail’s overall complexity.

Together, these ingredients create a cocktail that is at once complex and balanced, with a depth of flavor.

Champs Elysees Cocktail Recipe

  1. 60 ml cognac

  2. 22.5 ml fresh lemon juice

  3. 15 ml green Chartreuse

  4. 7.5 ml simple syrup

  5. 1 dash Angostura bitters

  6. Ice

  7. Garnish: lemon twist

champs élysées cocktail

How to Make a Champs Elysees Cocktail

  1. Add the cognac, fresh lemon juice, green Chartreuse, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters into a cocktail shaker.

  2. Add ice and shake for 10-15 seconds, until chilled.

  3. Strain into a coupe glass.

  4. Garnish with a lemon twist.